Divided by day and night and on the run from authorities, star-crossed young lovers unearth a sinister conspiracy in this compelling romantic thriller.
Seventeen-year-old Soleil Le Coeur is a Smudgea night dweller prohibited by law from going out during the day. When she fakes an injury in order to get access to and kidnap her newborn niecea day dweller, or Rayshe sets in motion a fast-paced adventure that will bring her into conflict with the powerful lawmakers who order her world, and draw her together with the boy she was destined to fall in love with, but who is also a Ray.
Set in a vivid alternate reality and peopled with complex, deeply human characters on both sides of the day-night divide, Elizabeth Fama's Plus One is a brilliantly imagined drama of individual liberty and civil rights, and a fast-paced romantic adventure story.
|Publisher:||Farrar, Straus and Giroux|
|Product dimensions:||5.60(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.40(d)|
|Age Range:||12 - 17 Years|
About the Author
Elizabeth Fama is the author of Monstrous Beauty, which was a 2013 Odyssey Honor Audiobook. She lives with her family in Chicago, Illinois.
Read an Excerpt
By Elizabeth Fama
Farrar, Straus and GirouxCopyright © 2014 Elizabeth Fama
All rights reserved.
Wednesday 4:30 a.m.
It takes guts to deliberately mutilate your hand while operating a blister-pack sealing machine, but all I had going for me was guts. It seemed like a fair trade: lose maybe a week's wages and possibly the tip of my right middle finger, and in exchange Poppu would get to hold his great-granddaughter before he died.
I wasn't into babies, but Poppu's unseeing eyes filled to spilling when he spoke of Ciel's daughter, and that was more than I could bear. It was absurd to me that the dying should grieve the living when the living in this case was only ten kilometers away. Poppu needed to hold that baby, and I was going to bring her to him, even if Ciel wouldn't.
The machine was programmed to drop daily doses of CircaDiem and vitamin D into the thirty slots of a blister tray. My job was mind-numbingly boring, and I'd done it maybe a hundred thousand times before without messing up: align a perforated prescription card on the conveyor, slip the PVC blister tray into the card, slide the conveyor to the right under the pill dispenser, inspect the pills after the tray has been filled, fold the foil half of the card over, and slide the conveyor to the left under the heat-sealing plate. Over and over I'd gone through these motions for hours after school, with the rhythmic swooshing, whirring, and stamping of the factory's powder compresses, laser inscribers, and motors penetrating my wax earplugs no matter how well I molded them to my ear canal.
I should have had a concrete plan for stealing my brother's baby, with backups and contingencies, but that's not how my brain works. I only knew for sure how I was going to get into the hospital. There were possible complications that I pushed to the periphery of my mind because they were too overwhelming to think about: I didn't know how I'd return my niece when I was done with her; I'd be navigating the city during the day with only a Smudge ID; if I was detained by an Hour Guard, there was a chance I'd never see Poppu again.
I thought Poppu was asleep as I kissed him goodbye that night. His skin was cool crepe paper draped over sharp cheekbones. I whispered, "Je t'aime," and he surprised me by croaking, "Je t'adore, Soleil," as if he sensed the weight of this departure over all the others.
I slogged through school; I dragged myself to work. An hour before my shift ended, I allowed a prescription card to go askew in the tray, and I poked my right middle finger in to straighten it before the hot plate lowered to seal the foil backing to the card. I closed my eyes as the press came down.
Even though I had only mangled one centimeter of a single finger, my whole body felt like it had been turned inside out and I'd been punched in the heart for good measure. My fingernail had split in two, blood was pooling through the crack, and I smelled burned flesh. It turns out the nerves in your fingertip are ridiculously sensitive, and all at once I realized mine might be screaming for days. Had I thought through this step at all? Would I even be able to hold a baby?
I collapsed, and I might have fainted if the new girl at the machine next to mine hadn't run to the first-aid station for a blanket, a gauze tourniquet strip, and an ice pack. She used the gauze to wrap the bleeding fingertip tightly—I think I may have punched her with my left fist—eased me onto my back, and covered me with a blanket. I stopped hyperventilating. I let tears stream down the sides of my cheeks onto the cement floor. But I did not cry out loud.
"I'm not calling an ambulance," the jerk supervisor said, when my finger was numb from the cold and I was able to sit up again. "That would make it a Code Three on the accident report, and this is a Code One at best. We're seven and a half blocks from the hospital, and you've got an hour before curfew. You could crawl and you'd make it before sunrise."
So I walked to the emergency room. I held my right arm above my head the whole way, to keep the pounding heartbeat in my finger from making my entire hand feel like it would explode. And I thought about how before he turned his back on us, Ciel used to brag that I could think on my feet better than anyone he knew.
Screw you, Ciel.CHAPTER 2
Wednesday 5:30 a.m.
The triage nurse in the ER was a Smudge. The ID on her lanyard said so, but politely: Night nurse. She had clear blue eyes and copper hair. She could have been my mother, except my eyes are muddier, my hair is a little more flaming, and my mother is dead. I looked past her through an open window into the treatment area. A doctor and her high school apprentice were by the bedside of another patient, with their backs to us.
"Don't you need to leave?" I asked the nurse, wanting her to stay.
"Excuse me?" She looked up from my hand, where she was removing the blood-soaked gauze.
"I mean, hasn't your shift ended? You're running out of night."
She smiled. "Don't worry about me, hon. I have a permanent Day pass to get home. We overlap the shifts by an hour, to transition patients from the Night doctors and nurses to the Day staff."
"A Day pass, of course." My throat stung, as if I might cry with joy that she'd be nearby for another hour. As if I craved protection, someone who understood me. I made a fist with my left hand under the table, digging my nails into the palm of my hand. Don't be a coward.
I tipped my head lightly in the direction of the doctor and the apprentice. "Are they Smudges or Rays?"
"They're Rays," she said without looking up.
The pressure of the bandage eased as she unwrapped it, which was not a good thing. With no ice pack, and with my hand below the level of my heart for the examination, the pain made me sick to my stomach.
Her brow furrowed when she got the last of the gauze off. "How did you say this happened?"
* * *
Of course, from the doctor's point of view, the accident was more than plausible because I'm a documented failure. It says so right in my high school and work transcripts, which are a permanent part of my state record and programmed into my phone along with my health history. Apprenticeship: Laborer. Compliance: Insubordinate. Allergies: Penicillin. The typical Ray, which this stuck-up doctor was, would never think twice about an uncooperative moron of a Smudge crushing her finger between the plates of a blister-pack sealer, even if it was a machine the Smudge had operated uneventfully for three years, and even if the slimy supervisor had forced her to take a Modafinil as soon as she swiped her phone past the time clock for her shift, dropping the white tablet into her mouth himself and checking under her tongue after she swallowed.
I was lying on a cot with my hand resting on a pull-out extension. The doctor was wearing a lighted headset with a magnifying monocle to examine my throbbing finger. She and her apprentice both had the same dark brown hair; both were wearing white lab coats. I bit my lip and looked at the laminated name tag dangling around her neck to distract myself from the pain. Dr. Hélène Benoît, MD, Day Emergency Medicine. There was a thumbnail photo of her, and then below it in red letters were the words Plus One.
"Elle est sans doute inattentive à son travail," the doctor murmured to the boy, which means, She undoubtedly doesn't pay attention to her work. "C'est ainsi qu'elle peut perdre le bout du majeur." She may lose the tip of her finger as a result.
I thought, Poppu is from a French-speaking region of Belgium, and he raised me from a toddler, you pompous witch. I wanted to slam her for gossiping about me—her patient—to an apprentice, but I kept quiet. It was better for her to think the accident was because of laziness.
"Could I have a painkiller?" I finally asked, revealing more anger than I intended. They both looked up with their doe eyes, hers a piercing gray-blue and his hazel-brown.
Yes, there's a person at the end of this finger.
Seeing them like that next to each other, eyebrows raised at fake, worried angles, I realized that it wasn't just their coloring that was similar. He had the same nose as her. A distinctive, narrow beak. Too big for his face—so long that it lost track of where it was and turned to the side when it reached the tip, instead of facing forward. He had her angular cheekbones. I looked at the ID on his lanyard. D'Arcy Benoît, Medical Apprentice. His photo made him look older, and below it was that same phrase, Plus One. He was both her apprentice and her kid.
"Which anesthesia is appropriate in such cases?" She quizzed him in English with a thick accent.
"A digital nerve block?" He had no accent. He was raised here.
The boy left the room and wheeled a tray table back. It had gauze pads, antiseptic wipes, a syringe, and a tiny bottle of medicine on it. He prepped my hand by swabbing the wipe in the webbing on either side of my middle finger. He filled the syringe with the medicine and bent over my hand.
"Medial to the proximal phalanx," she instructed, her chin raised, looking down her nose at his work. He stuck the needle into the base of my finger. I gasped.
"Sorry," he whispered.
"Aspirate to rule out intravascular placement," his mother instructed. He pulled the plunger up, sucking nothing into the syringe. Tears came to my eyes. He pushed the plunger down, and the cold liquid stung as it went in.
"One more," he said, looking up at me. He was better than his mother at pretending to care.
"Kiss off," I said. He looked stunned, and then he glared. He plunged the needle into the other side of my finger, with no apologies this time.
"Donne-lui aussi un sédatif," his mother said, cold as ice. Give her a sedative. Apparently I needed to be pharmacologically restrained.
To me she said, "What is your name?"
"It's on the triage sheet, if you bothered to read it," I said.
The boy took my phone from the edge of the cot.
"Hey—" I started.
He tapped the screen. "Sol," he told her. "S-O-L." He looked at me pointedly. "Is that even a name?"
I snatched my phone from him with my good hand. "Sol Le Coeur." My last name means "the heart" in French, but I deliberately pronounced it wrong, as if I didn't know any better: Lecore.
His mother said, "You will go for an X-ray and come back here, Miss Lecore."CHAPTER 3
Wednesday 6:30 a.m.
The pill they had given me was beginning to kick in. I felt a light fog settle in my mind as the X-ray technician walked me back to the treatment area. The boy was there but his mother was gone. I sat on the edge of the cot, unsteady. My finger was blessedly numb and I was very, very relaxed. I wanted to lie down and go to sleep for the day, but I couldn't afford to rest: I had to get treatment and somehow find that baby.
After the technician left, the boy rolled the tray table over. There was a sheet and a pen on it.
"I ... uh ... the triage nurse forgot a release form," he said. "You need to sign it."
I looked at the paper. It was single-spaced, fine print, and I was in no condition to read.
"Give me the ten-words-or-less version. I'm not a Legal Apprentice."
He huffed, as if I were a complete pain in the ass, and then counted on his fingers: "You. Allow. Us. To. Look. At. Your. Medical. Records." He had nine fingers up.
He did it so quickly I felt a surge of anger at the realization that, yeah, the mama's boy was smart. I grabbed the pen and said, "Hold the paper still." I signed my name as if I were slashing the paper with a knife.
He put his hand out. "Now, may I see your phone again?"
I took it from my pocket and smacked it into his palm.
He scrolled through. He was looking for something.
"You're underweight," he commented. "You should get help for that."
You're right, I thought. How about a home healthcare worker, a shopper, a chef, a housekeeper, and a bookkeeper? Oh, and a genie to make Poppu well enough to eat meals with me again. But silly me: the genie can take care of it all while Poppu and I eat foie gras.
"Are you taking any medications?" he asked, after my silence.
He looked up at me without lifting his head, as if he were looking over glasses. "Aside from melatonin and vitamin D."
His eyes drifted down to the phone again. "Do you want to think about it?"
"It says here you took Modafinil four hours ago."
I opened my mouth, but nothing came out. He waited.
"I did," I finally said. I didn't bother to say it had been forced on me.
"Do you have trouble staying alert?"
The wild child surged in my gut. "It's repetitive-motion factory work, after a full night of school. I wonder how alert you would be."
He studied my phone again, his brow furrowed. "Sixteen years old. Seventeen in a few days. You should be acclimated to your schedule, if you're sleeping enough during the day and taking your CircaDiem."
I pinched my lips together.
He looked up at me. "So, you can't stand your job."
I rolled my eyes and lay down on the bed, staring at the ceiling. I had nothing to say to this guy. All I needed was for him to fix me up enough to be functional. The injury was supposed to be my ticket to the Day hospital, not an opportunity for psychoanalysis by some smug Day boy.
"What did you do wrong to get assigned to labor?"
There was something implied in the question, wasn't there? He thought I was a thug, with a criminal record, maybe. But I couldn't think straight. The adrenaline from the injury was gone, and I was feeling woozy from the tranquilizer.
His mother came in, and I didn't exist again.
"It's a tuft fracture," he said to her as they studied the X-ray with their backs to me. "Does she need surgery?"
"Conservative treatment is good enough."
Good enough for a Smudge, I thought.
"Remove the nail and suture the nail bed," she went on. "Repair of the soft tissue usually leads to adequate reduction of the fracture."
I closed my eyes and drifted off as she rattled through the medical details. "Soft-tissue repair with 4-0 nylon, uninterrupted stitches; nail-bed repair with loose 5-0 chromic sutures ..."
* * *
The boy's bangs blocked my view of his face when I came to. I had trouble focusing for a minute, and my thoughts were thick. Luckily there was no chance I'd have to talk to him. He was working with such concentration on my finger he hadn't even noticed that I was watching him. It was sort of touching that he was trying to do a good job with a Smudge, I thought stupidly. But then I realized, who better to practice on?
I closed my eyes. Normally I'd be cooking a late dinner for Poppu at this hour of the morning. Then I would read to him to distract him from the pain, and crawl into my bed with no time or energy left for homework. I sluggishly reassured myself that I had left him enough to eat and drink by the side of his bed. Everything made him sick lately, everything except rice and pureed, steamed vegetables. But what if he had trouble using the bedpan alone?
"Poppu," I heard myself murmur.
"What did you say?" The boy's voice was far away.
* * *
When I awoke again, my finger was bandaged, and the apprentice and his mother were huddled together, whispering in French. I heard the words "la maternité "—the maternity ward—and I allowed my heavy eyelids to fall, pretending to sleep.
"... I've had to do this before. It's a trivial inconvenience."
"Is the baby being reassigned to Day?" the boy asked.
"The mother is a Smudge." She said the word "Smudge" in English, and I wondered, groggy, whether there was a French equivalent. "Her son will be a Smudge. Being the Night Minister does not mean she can rise above the law."
Excerpted from Plus One by Elizabeth Fama. Copyright © 2014 Elizabeth Fama. Excerpted by permission of Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Wednesday 4:30 a.m.,
Wednesday 5:30 a.m.,
Wednesday 6:30 a.m.,
Wednesday 10:30 a.m.,
Wednesday 11:00 a.m.,
Wednesday 11:30 a.m.,
Wednesday 2:30 p.m.,
Wednesday 3:00 p.m.,
Wednesday 3:15 p.m.,
Wednesday 3:30 p.m.,
Wednesday 4:00 p.m.,
Wednesday 4:15 p.m.,
Sun and Sky,
Wednesday 5:00 p.m.,
Wednesday 5:30 p.m.,
Wednesday 6:45 p.m.,
Thursday 12:00 Noon,
Thursday 1:30 p.m.,
Thursday 2:30 p.m.,
Thursday 3:30 p.m.,
Thursday 4:00 p.m.,
Thursday 4:45 p.m.,
Thursday 5:15 p.m.,
Thursday 6:20 p.m.,
Thursday 7:00 p.m.,
Friday 1:00 a.m.,
Friday 1:30 a.m.,
Friday 2:30 a.m.,
Friday 4:30 a.m.,
Friday 10:30 a.m.,
Friday 3:30 p.m.,
Friday 4:30 p.m.,
Friday 5:00 p.m.,
Friday 5:30 p.m.,
Friday 6:30 p.m.,
Friday 7:00 p.m.,
Saturday 7:00 a.m.,
Saturday 8:00 a.m.,
Saturday 9:00 a.m.,
Saturday 12:30 p.m.,
Saturday 1:00 p.m.,
Saturday 1:30 p.m.,
Saturday 4:00 p.m.,
Sunday 3:30 a.m.,
Sunday 5:00 a.m.,
Sunday 5:45 a.m.,
Sunday 6:40 a.m.,
Sunday 8:00 a.m.,
Sunday 9:15 a.m.,
Sunday 10:30 a.m.,
Sunday 11:00 a.m.,
Sunday 12:00 Noon,
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A thrilling, romantic, fast-paced read, Plus One was a wonderful YA book. I really enjoyed reading it. It didn't have the best start, but it turned out to be a fantastic read. Sol was a wonderful heroine. She was strong and very determined to get what she wanted, even though her plans weren't always rational. She was clever and definitely held her own in a world of secrets and betrayals. My only issue with her was that she was a a tad too impulsive, getting herself into ridiculous situations, and prickly, seeing insults and enemies when there weren't any. Otherwise, I really liked her. D'Arcy was the love interest and he was wonderful. He was very sweet and very intelligent. He was just wonderful. I loved how determined he was to help Sol, just because, at first, he thought it was the right thing to do. I absolutely adored him. The romance was lovely. Despite their rocky start, Sol and D'Arcy were very sweet together and one hell of a bad ass team. I loved the twist of how far their relationship actually stretched. And, I loved how they were willing to go through so much for each other and, ultimately, willing to wait for each other when it seemed things weren't going to go their way. I thought they were a wonderful couple. The pace was the weak point in this book. It started off slow. The first half dragged a bit, but something kept me interesting, so I kept reading. And, I'm glad I did because, about halfway through, the plot picked up and I got totally hooked. There were tons of thrills, surprises, secrets, and betrayals and it all kept me on the edge of my seat. I really enjoyed the story and the ending had me excited to see what happens next. Plus One was a fantastic YA romance. It was thrilling, romantic, and full of deeply hidden secrets. I really enjoyed reading this wonderful book. Romance lovers, this is definitely a book not to be missed. *I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
This is an alternate reality that goes in a very different direction from ours after the Flu Pandemic of 1918. The population is divided by those who are only allowed out during the day and those who are only allowed out at night, and of course they have prejudices against each other because people have to hate even when they don't know why they hate or who or what they are hating. So, you can really relate this world to our own history. There was action, romance, humor, and even a little suspense at times. I thought the characters and the world around them were well built and well thought out. The characters felt real. You got to know them as they got to know each other. They had strengths and weaknesses. They definitely weren't perfect. I enjoyed them quite a bit, and I loved watching what was a strong dislike between D'arcy and Sol grow into friendship and strengthen to more. They are characters worth rooting for.
I was first drawn to Plus One because of the gorgeous cover, but then with the synopsis of the alternate reality along with the segregation of people into people who are allowed to be out during the day and those only at night cemented my interest. Plus One was addicting for me. I read half of it in one sitting and wanted to read more, but had to go to bed. Sol's family loyalty and her bravery to get things done made me admire her. She was smart, but also she was a rule breaker, so she has been in a factory doing mindless work. She doesn't seem to mind too much because she is taking care of her grandpa, Poppu. Her parents passed when she was little and it had been them and her brother Ciel since. Ciel got into trouble and now he was recruited by the Rays (Day people) in order to hack, which is what he was locked up for. So Sol doesn't get to see him anymore and she's hurt by that because she'd always felt so close. She goes through great lengths to get her brother's new baby to Poppu so he could hold her. He was gravely ill and wouldn't make it to the next Unity night, where Rays and Smudges could be out during their opposite hour. The world building for this was pretty good, I liked learning about how the Day/Night system was set up and it was harrowing how strict it was. There are what they call Hour Guards who checks ids and makes sure that each perspective group is where they should be. When she is in the hospital she meets D'Arcy, who she refers to as Day Boy in her head, which made me smirk. He is the doctor's apprentice, but the way he gets wrapped up in Sol's life kept my attention. What made him stick around and continue to help her was admirable even if he did certain things following procedure that got her in more trouble at first. Also, his family brings another element of depth to the story. He is the apprentice of his mom, and his dad has such a story as to their differences and lives. I like though that the relationship between Sol and D'Arcy was slow. They had the banter that I enjoyed from the start, as well as D'Arcy's motives. It made me a little nervous not knowing why he kept helping her, but then meeting his dad, and realizing what a heart he has, it become more clear. I was so cheering for them especially with the desk situation and its resolution. So. Normally I am all about a stand alone but I seriously hope that this one is not. The ending was sweet in ways, but it just didn't sit right with me. Maybe its brave to end that way and it shows just the depth of the loyalty of Sol to those who manage to weave their way into her heart. But still. It was sad to me, and I know it should be hopeful and giving that open end where you can argue with yourself about exactly how it will play out. Bottom Line: Grabbed my attention. Loved the slow build, but had an issue with ending, which would be resolved with a 2nd book.
**I received a free copy of this book from Net Galley in exchange for my honest review** 5 stars To start out with, “Sol” Soleil Le Coeur is a brave girl. She is bound and determined to allow her dying grandfather, Poppu, to hold his brand-new great-granddaughter…the child of her brother Ciel that was reassigned from Night as a “Smudge” to Day as a “Ray” about three years prior. And in a system where Smudges are looked upon as the “less significant” of the population and live at night, and sleep all day, it was the worst possible thing that Sol could imagine – especially when her Poppu’s health is declining rapidly. So she makes the decision to get into the hospital somehow during the “day” shift once she’s heard of her niece’s birth…and how does she do this without getting a curfew violation? But obtaining an injury that doesn’t look intentional…everything goes as planned until she meets her doctor, a young medical apprentice named D’Arcy Benoit who cares for her while she’s getting her finger mended. And when she sees the opportunity to so what she has promised, she strikes and removes her niece from the hospital nursery to meet Poppu…but things go downhill quickly for Sol – especially when she realizes she has taken the wrong baby. D’Arcy or “Day Boy” as Sol calls him comes looking for her once he realizes what she has done, and throughout the story, they start to appreciate that they are more similar than they would like to admit. They end up protecting each other – until the end. The story starts out a little slowly, but once it gets started, it doesn’t stop throughout. There are a few slightly confusing parts if you’re not paying attention where the story jumps from past back to present – but it does show the times and days when they jump back to present, where the past scenes are usually just labeled with a title instead of a specific time. I thought the story was extremely well written and had some element of surprise around every corner. I love Sol’s fierce protective nature – she wants to take care of those that care for her. But she still is a very spirited girl that wants to buck against authority. Sol is definitely that sun – and I was captivated from the first paragraph. I’d without a doubt recommend this book to anyone looking for a non-paranormal YA coming of age story that is a soul bearing story of love and loyalty.
I took one look at this cover and knew this book had to be mine. Yes, I did the whole "judging a book by its cover" on this one but LOOK AT IT. It's breathtakingly gorgeous. And that lip lock screams my name in a serious way. Certainly this is a mushy gushy love story, right? Oh, no. This story is one part romance and fourteen parts action/adventure/science fiction/dystopian/drama goodness all wrapped up in cover worthy of being hung on a wall and called art. Not gonna lie. This book is smarter than me. Like, a LOT smarter. It's so smart that there are parts that went above my head, but you know what? I kind of love when that happens. I don't have to question if an actual THING could happen because I just believe that it could. Boom. Happy reader. And the way Fama weaves storylines together is so fun! I found myself quickly turning pages so I could see what happens next. Twists and turns abound! While I love a good romance, I think my favorite relationship in this book was between Sol and Poppu, her grandfather. Oh, heck. Who am I kidding?! I freaking love Sol and D'Arcy. It's a slow building romance that had me COL (cheering out loud) and D'Arcy is one of those good guys that I can't help but fall for. (Though Sol outshines him because she's a remarkable heroine!) But watching Sol and Poppu AND her brother, Ciel work through this story really was my favorite part. For real. Now, I hear a lot of people say that they're SO OVER dystopian books, but listen to me. PLUS ONE is a refreshing story and reads more like science fiction than dystopian. Give it a chance, you naysayers of genres. I'm willing to bet you'll like it.
Imagining an alternate reality with a distinct dystopian feel to it is rather frightening. In Plus One half the population live at night and the other half during the day. Curfews are set up to keep these two groups thoroughly separate. If curfew is broken, even by an underage person, the transgression is punishable. Add to this government control of your phone - tracking software included, controlled shopping, and numerous other highly inhibiting rules, and we have a very scary picture. Now imagine having a night person, or Smudge, and a day person, or Ray, in love with one another. This is the fate of Soleil and D'arcy. After reporting Sol, the main character, for a self-induced injury, D'arcy decides to aid her in her efforts to steal her niece and to protect her from the authorities. Together these two get involved in much more than the kidnapping of an infant; think dangerous medical procedures and government corruption. Sol is a realistic, well fleshed out character. Her impulsive nature combined with an ever present sense of hopelessness and negativity creates an interesting contrast, making her a particularly memorable character. These slightly offbeat, negative attributes are balanced by her open, loving nature towards her grandfather and D'arcy, and her willingness to make enormous sacrifices to see her loved ones safe and happy. For a large part of this book D'arcy is in two minds. Should he protect Sol and let the romantic side win out, or should he think of his future. The other characters in Plus One are vibrant and imaginatively crafted. From Sol's selfish brother, Ciel and the colorful, emotional Gigi to D'arcy's drama-queen mother, Hélène; all these characters enrich the story and made an impression on me. Filled with suspense as well as romance, Plus One is a tale of courage, sacrifice, betrayal and, ultimately, hope. This book should appeal to both YA readers as well as adults. (Ellen Fritz)
4-1/2 Stars. This was a fascinating read into a world divided by day and night. I'll admit at first I wasn't sure I was going to buy into why the world was divided this way, but the way Fama set it all up was truly interesting. Using the flu pandemic of 1918, society split in two - Night (Smudges) and Day (Rays). Of course there are strict rules separating the two, and the Smudges are less privileged than the Rays. But this is just the background, because there are so many layers to this story. The first half of the book goes back and forth between past and present, and it slowed the pacing down for me a bit, but I'll tell you that the second half was hard to put down. I had to know what was going on and felt at the edge of my seat until the very end. The entire story had such amazing twists and turns that I didn't see coming. I loved not knowing what to expect. I loved the action sequences intermixed with the heartfelt moments. The entire story was put together fantastically. Sol, our female protagonist, was amazing, kind-hearted, sacrificial, feisty, tough, and everything you want in a heroine. I loved her. D'Arcy, our male protagonist, was a mystery to get to know, but quickly became swoon-worthy. The way Fama blended their story together was so sweet and beautiful and a real treat to read. I felt their connection. I did have one issue, but otherwise completely loved Sol and D'Arcy and their story. And then there is a terrific blend of secondary characters that complete this unique story. Elizabeth Fama has written a really incredible standalone dystopian novel. I didn't realize until I finished it that it was a standalone, and was only disappointed in the end that there wouldn't be another book because I loved getting to know these characters so much. The ending may not wrap everything up in a pretty pink bow, but it does leave the reader with a complete story and a hopeful ending, and I loved it.